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First Hull FC squad post-Tony Smith sees host of youngsters named

Hull FC

There are three Super League games on Friday night but none more anticipated than St Helens hosting Hull FC, the Red Vee coming off the back of two losses and FC playing their first game since Tony Smith’s sacking, with both teams now confirming their squads for the game.

It’s been a difficult week for each side, in two different respects. For St Helens, their chances of lifting the Challenge Cup for the first time since 2021 have been ended after a heavy defeat to Warrington Wolves at home.

For Hull FC, they’ve seen head coach Tony Smith sacked, stars Nu Brown and Tex Hoy released, and former Leeds Rhinos’ full-back Richie Myler appointed as Director of Rugby.

They’ve since appointed Simon Grix as their interim head coach and the former Halifax Panthers coach has a huge task on his hands to get a result against a reeling St Helens side.

In their last Super League match, St Helens missed out on a chance to go top of the table as they lost 14-8 in Perpignan to Catalans Dragons in a game that Paul Wellens’ claimed showed “easy fixes”.

Since then, Warrington put 24 unanswered points on them in a dominating second-half performance to add further pressure to the side and it wasn’t a game without injury issues either.

For Hull FC, they’re on somewhat of a free hit with Grix in charge and an injury list stretching into double figures but both sides have now named their squads for Friday evening.

First Hull FC squad of the new era named plus Saints without star forward

St Helens

Credit: Imago Images

Head coach Paul Wellens told SaintsTV that forwards Curtis Sironen and Alex Walmsley had picked up knocks with the hamstring injury for Walmsley seemingly more serious.

Wellens explained: “With hamstrings, it’s never a case of ‘you’re going to be alright in four or five days’. So, we’re going to send Alex off for a scan and get a more detailed idea of what’s going on.”

The forward has now been left out of Wellens’ 21-man squad for Friday but Curtis Sironen has passed fit. There’s also a welcome return for Mark Percival who missed the cup game with a HIA.

Matty Lees is a timely replacement for Alex Walmsley with Lees returning from suspension whilst Sam Royle also steps in with Walmsley, Jake Burns and Tee Ritson those dropping out.

As for Hull FC, Simon Grix has named his first 21-man squad after taking on the role and he’d told BBC Humberside previously that injury issues meant the side “almost picks itself”.

Danny Houghton has returned from his rib injury whilst young forward Nick Staveley has begun the process of his rehab after an ACL injury. Grix also rubbished suggestions that players had been unhappy with Tony Smith.

Three youngsters have joined Houghton in the squad with Denive Balmforth, Macca Harman and Jeylan Hodgson included for the suspended Ligi Sao and Jack Brown, plus the released Tex Hoy and Nu Brown.

FC confirmed that their lengthy injury list includes: Carlos Tuimavave (hamstring), Jake Trueman (Achilles), Brad Fash (ankle), Jack Ashworth (thumb), Mitieli Vulikijapani (knee), Nick Staveley (knee) Jack Walker (hamstring) Kye Armstrong (shoulder) and Cobie Wainhouse (knee)

St Helens 21-Man Squad

1. Jack Welsby
2. Tommy Makinson
3. Waqa Blake
4. Mark Percival
5. Jon Bennison
6. Jonny Lomax
7. Lewis Dodd
9. Daryl Clark
10. Matty Lees
11. Sione Mata’utia
12. Joe Batchelor
13. Morgan Knowles
14. Moses Mbye
15. James Bell
16. Curtis Sironen
19. Matt Whitley
20. George Delaney
21. Ben Davies
22. Sam Royle
23. Konrad Hurrell
31. Noah Stephens

Hull FC 21-Man Squad

2 – Liam Tindall
4 – Liam Sutcliffe
5 – Darnell McIntosh
8 – Herman Ese’ese
9 – Danny Houghton
10 – Franklin Pele
11 – Jayden Okunbor
14 – Joe Cator
15 – Jordan Lane
17 – Cam Scott
19 – Morgan Smith
21 – Will Gardiner
23 – Davy Litten
26 – Lewis Martin
27 – Zach Jebson
28 – Denive Balmforth
30 – Matty Laidlaw
33 – Macca Harman
35 – Jeylan Hodgson
37 – Logan Moy
40 – Jack Charles

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